AMESBURY – A traditional vacation favorite will change with the weather this year when the Lowell’s Boat Shop Vacation Open House goes virtual starting Tuesday.
The open house is the boat store’s biggest fundraiser each year, but the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic have moved the 2020 event online.
“Sometimes thousands of people pass by the boat shop on the open house,” said Marie Pierce, member of the boat shop. “There can be a lot of people. People just like to come for the vibe. The boat store hasn’t changed much over the past 225 years. Usually it is decorated for Christmas with lights and wreaths, and it looks very pretty. There is also music. But all of that will be missed this year.
Pierce, who chairs the boat shop’s virtual open house committee, said the event will always offer a wide range of gifts donated by local supporters in an online auction that will run Tuesday through Sunday at www.lowellsboatshop.com.
A 17ft canoe with trailer, a harbor cruise, skybox seats for a Boston Red Sox game, jewelry from Pam Older and Kaya, a guided fly fishing adventure, a stay at the Lark hotels and a Landscaping consulting with Lillian Newbert are among the items up for auction in the auction.
“This is the main fundraiser of the year for us,” said Pierce. “It supports our education program, which we offer to adults and children. It also supports the “apprentices” program for young boat builders.
Paintings, photographs and sculptures of local waterways, maritime history and the boat shop itself will also be on display virtually during the open house art exhibit, featuring artists from the area such as Hamilton. Hayes, Debra Woodward, Robert Richardson, Michele Champion and Jacob Towle being pictured.
An oil painting by local realist painter Ellen Doremus will be raffled off at the end of the virtual open house.
Entitled “Provident,” the painting depicts a 27-foot dory board built by apprentice participants in the program; Raffle tickets are available for purchase throughout the auction, with the winner notified on December 17th.
“We still use this dory,” Pierce said. “It’s on the river and it’s a popular subject for painters.”
Winning bidders for auction items will be notified Sunday at 4 p.m.
The boat store’s retail store will also open online. The evergreen trees and iconic wreaths from the boat store are available for curbside pickup at the store until sold out.
All auction and online purchases will need to be picked up curbside at the Boat Shop December 8-18. The hours for curbside collection are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Friday, or by appointment by calling 978-834-0050.
Lowell’s Boat Shop was founded by Simeon Lowell in 1793. The National Monument is the official birthplace of the Fishing Dory and is the oldest wooden boat building in the United States and is dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of the art and craftsmanship of wood. boat building.
Editor-in-chief Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.